Nascar Basics

Written by SportsbookKS
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You might only watch NASCAR for the crashes, but there's some good betting value out there too.
I like motor racing, and in North America that pretty much means NASCAR. Formula One is on at inconvenient times, and barely rates media coverage outside of Speed channel. Them`s the breaks I suppose. Still, NASCAR works well enough as background noise, and the inevitable crashes are fun to watch (unless you`ve got money riding on one or more of the drivers who were nearby when the pinball started).

NASCAR is apparantly the number two spectator sport in the USA right now (in most of the major stats like TV audience, crowd attendance, and all that sort of stuff). Not surprisingly, there`s a good sized betting interest out there too.

Like most multi-participant sports, NASCAR offers both outright winner, and head to head wagers. As the name suggests, outright winner bets are on who is going to win the race. Head to head is a bit simpler, simply out your money on which driver will finish higher in the placings.

NASCAR`s tech rules make for very even racing, which is great for the fans (unlike big-chin Schumacher`s total pwnage of Formula One the last couple of seasons). This means that there`s nobody at really short odds, and a number of strong contenders at surprisingly long odds. It`s usually possible to back four or five of the favourites, and a semi-longshot (20-1 or higher drivers win a surprsing number of NASCAR races).

On that note, NASCAR is perhaps the sport that most rewards odds-shopping. It is relatively common to see the same driver`s odds vary from 6-1 to 12-1 at different sites. Parcelling out your betting between sites not only gets you the best odds, it also reduces the chance that the site will label you as a sharp.

Head to head betting is a lot easier, because you can ignore the other cars and drivers. I usually go through the field working out whether each driver is positive (likely to perform well), negative (likely to perform badly), or neutral. My system is fairly simple. I rate each driver`s recent form as + = or - then I rate his (and to a lesser extent his team`s) track record on the type of track the race is on.



A positive cancels out a negative, so I`m left with a column of names that looks something like:
Gordon ++
Waltrip +
Earnhardt =
Sadler -
Nemecheck --

Then I look at the matchups my sites are offering. I bet five units on ++ vs -- , three units on ++ vs - or + vs -- , and one unit on ++ vs =. It`s kind of simple, but it seems to work. Obviously my betting units are relatively small, they`re at $10 right now. I`m debating whether to only concentrate on ++ vs -- and making fewer but bigger plays, but a lot of things can go wrong in NASCAR.

If I`m betting on the outright winner, I put my money on as late as possible. The reason for this is so I can see the results of all the practices. That`s the secret to NASCAR - qualifying times and grid positions mean very little. NASCAR isn`t about setting up to go really fast for two laps, it`s about setting up to go pretty fast for 300 (or whatever). This is why the practice sessions after qualifying, especially Happy Hour (the last run) are vital to look at. Most of the media and betting public will be focused on who qualified best. While that gives you a bit of knowledge about how the driver is performing, the car set up and performance at the end of Happy Hour will tell you far more about who is likely to win.

So, if you want to bet NASCAR, shop around for odds, and don`t pay too much attention to qualifying times.

Bet Smart.

Andy

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